Yes, it’s here…Allergy season!
Experts are saying that the warm up much of the country experienced in February could mean an earlier, longer and more intense allergy season. Pollen counts across the U.S. are higher due to the warm weather – even though we did get a blast of winter in March.
In the south especially, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology has seen a high concentration of tree pollen. The Midwest and mid-Atlantic is also seeing moderate tree pollen.
Allergy sufferers see the most symptoms on hot and windy days but damp rainy days tend to wash pollen from the air, experts say.
One way to fight spring allergy season is to start your allergy medications now, before the season kicks into high gear. Even if it is a mild year – and predictions are showing that it is looking to be a rough year – getting started on your medication early means fewer symptoms and issues.
With the advent of Spring arriving in Ohio, some who suffer from allergies have experienced symptoms a little earlier than usual this year. The mild weather of this year likely extended the growing season for spring pollen allergy Ohio. This and the warmer ground temperatures that have occurred in the early Spring due to lack of significant freezing or snow this Winter have probably set Ohio up for a long and difficult pollen season. Spring pollen includes tree and grass pollen. Weeds, such as ragweed, do not pollinate until later in the Summer.
Trees usually begin to pollinate first, in April and May. Some trees pollinate in early Spring, while others pollinate more in the middle of the Spring. A cold Spring during which we continue to have frost, snow, or cold rain into April, may seem to bring a shorter pollen season. During such seasons, trees may not pollinate as heavily in the early Spring. In this scenario, many people with allergies notice the spring pollen allergy Ohio season starts a little later, but we can already see that things are starting earlier this year.
The most common trees to cause spring pollen allergy Ohio and the Midwest are Birch, Maple, Oak, Sycamore, Hickory, Walnut, Elm, Cottonwood, Ash, and Pine. Tree pollen tend to be more “sticky” than other pollen. Because “sticky” pollen may adhere to the eyes more readily, tree pollen are notorious for causing eye problems, such as itchy and puffy swollen eyes. Tree pollen often causes people to have nasal symptoms such as runny nose, itchy nose, sneezing, congestion, sinus or ear infections, or even asthma symptoms such as coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath.
Grass pollen typically predominates from mid-May through June. The fluffy, white, cottonwood seed that begins to float in the air in May, often marks the onset of the grass season.
If you want to be able to spend time outside, pollen is unfortunately not avoidable. It may help to keep windows and doors closed, which should keep pollen counts close to zero inside during spring pollen allergy Ohio season.
When we moved to Ohio two years ago, I started to notice a growing usage of Kleenex. I was miserable. I ended up going to the Doctor and explaining my symptoms…he only had one thing to say to me, “Welcome to Ohio!”
So, an answer to a question that was recently asked as to whether it was possible to develop allergies later in life…yes indeed, it is possible. I read in an article that as we age, our immune system naturally begins to wane. The allergist interviewed stated that it could happen even if you relocate to another part of the country with heavy pollen levels. So, that’s a double whammy for me…first that my immune system is waning, and secondly I moved to Ohio. Can’t win!
Join the dialogue, what works for you and allergies in your area? Please feel free to offer tips and suggestions for the community.
As always, I am…the Boomer Explorer.